مشاوره در دانشگاه: بررسی تجارب شاگردان رنگی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8339||2005||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 67, Issue 3, December 2005, Pages 459–475
This study examines the mentoring experiences of African, Hispanic, and Native-American protégés in an academic setting. In doing so we consider whether surface-level and deep-level similarity are related to relationship satisfaction and perceived levels of support. Specifically, we consider whether for protégés of color, having a mentor who is also of color and/or who is perceived as having similar values is positively associated with satisfaction and support. Additionally, we examine from the perspective of those who mentor protégés of color, whether their relationship satisfaction is associated with having a protégé who is similar or different with regards to race/ethnicity and perceived value similarity. Finally, we consider the mediating roles of interpersonal comfort and commitment. Our results indicate that graduate students of color receive more psychosocial and instrumental support from, and are more satisfied with mentors of color. Further, interpersonal comfort and commitment mediate the relationships between surface and deep-level similarity and mentoring outcomes.
Mentoring research has continued to find that protégés benefit from having an experienced organizational member (mentor) provide them with career and personal support (Kram, 1985). To this end, individuals who receive mentoring report a number of positive affective and career outcomes (Dreher and Cox, 1996, Nielson et al., 2001 and Sosik and Godshalk, 2000). In an academic environment, mentoring is in many ways very different from organizational mentoring (Van Dyne, 1996). First, in academia, mentoring is focused on socializing protégés into a profession (professional socialization) rather than an organizational role. Second, the timing of relationship transitions occur in a more predictable manner. Finally, because of the structure of the academic system and calendar, academic mentoring involves a natural cycling of relationships. For instance, a student will typically work with a mentor for 3–5 years and then graduate following which they may continue to work with their mentor as more of an equal or peer. However, despite these distinctions, to receive the professional training needed to become a Professor, protégés need mentors who can guide them in their research and teaching, help them find jobs, introduce them to important others in their field, and advise them on how to handle the demands of the profession (Clark et al., 2000 and Gilbert et al., 1983). Because empirical mentoring research has predominantly sampled white Caucasian protégés, less is known about the experiences of protégés of color along with the experiences of those individuals who mentor them. In addition to mainly focusing on Caucasian protégés, the majority of mentoring research, in both higher education and management, has considered the protégé’s experiences. Considerably less attention has been given to understanding the relationship from the perspective of the mentor. Therefore, to complement the student’s perspective, we also investigate the perspective of those who mentor protégés of color. The focus of this research is on the mentoring of African, Hispanic, and Native-American protégés in an academic setting. The association we sample refers to African, Hispanic, and Native-Americans as being “of color,” therefore we have used this terminology to refer to our protégés and mentors who are not White Caucasians. In this study, we examined the relationship between surface-level similarity, having a mentor or protégé who is of a similar racial/ethnic background and deep-level similarity, having a mentor or protégé who is perceived to share similar values, on relationship satisfaction and support. Further, to better understand the underlying psychological mechanisms through which similarity may affect the dynamics of mentoring, interpersonal comfort, the feeling of safety and security in a relationship, and commitment to the relationship are considered as mediators.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our main effect results suggest that, in keeping with the theories of diversified mentoring, graduate students of color reported that they received more psychosocial and instrumental support from and were more comfortable and satisfied with mentors who were also of color. Interestingly, our findings are opposite to those of Turban et al. (2002) who did not find racial/ethnic similarity to influence protégés’ perceptions of mentoring. However, there is an important difference between these two studies in that the Turban sample was predominantly Caucasian (70%) while ours was comprised solely of African, Hispanic, and Native-Americans. Taken together, the findings may suggest that for White protégés racial/ethnic similarity is not important but for protégés of color, surface-level similarity does matter. A somewhat unexpected result was that for academic mentors, racial/ethnic similarity was not a factor in the relationship. This finding appears to be in-keeping with work conducted in the therapy/counseling arena where the quality of a relationship between counselor and client is impacted more strongly by the counselor’s cultural competence and ability to understand the client than by the client’s race (Sue & Sue, 2003). Another explanation may be that many academic mentors serve in this capacity by choice because they too were once guided by a more experienced person (Allen et al., 1997 and Ragins and Scandura, 1999). Thus, since protégés and in particular protégés of color may have less experience in mentoring relationships, they may use surface-level characteristics as cues. In contrast, mentors may have sought out a protégé of color with the belief that surface-level characteristics are not the key drivers of a healthy relationship or the academic success of their protégé. When considering perceived deep-level value similarity our results follow a similar pattern to those of Ensher and Murphy (1997) and Turban et al. (2002) in that protégés who perceived their mentors as more similar were more satisfied, felt more interpersonal comfort, and received more support. In addition, we extended their research by finding that similarity on deep-level characteristics was also of consequence to those who mentor protégés of color. Specifically, we found that mentors who perceived their protégés as more similar were more satisfied, committed to maintaining the relationship, and felt a higher level of interpersonal comfort. For African, Hispanic, and Native Americans, higher levels of satisfaction, comfort, and commitment on the part of mentors may be especially critical, as prior research has found that they are more likely to be excluded from informal social workplace interactions (Ibarra, 1995). Further, our results suggest that mentors and protégés should try to find some common deep-level similarities before working together and, that surface-level characteristics while not influencing the perceptions of mentors, are still of consideration to protégés of color. What these findings suggest is that it may behoove both parties to spend some time getting to know one another and understand what is important value and problem-solving wise before embarking upon a relationship. If this is the case, it may be beneficial for academic institutions or specific departments to provide some sort of “courting opportunities” for incoming Ph.D. students so that mentors and protégés have the opportunity to explore whether they share similar values prior to working together. Also of note in our findings was the significant role of interpersonal comfort. In particular, we found that for protégés, comfort fully mediated the relationships between perceived value similarity and networking support, but only partially explained the influence on psychosocial and instrumental support and satisfaction. One potential reason why interpersonal comfort may be so important to networking support is that it represents potential risks external to the relationship (Burke and McKeen, 1990 and Clawson and Kram, 1984). Chao, Walz, and Gardner (1992) have argued that psychosocial support may be the easiest to provide because its provision entails interactions only among mentors and protégés. Similarity, in an academic setting, instrumental support may be offered solely within the confines of the relationship. Therefore, these two forms of support may represent minimal risks outside the relationship. Future research may want to explore what other mechanisms beside comfort help explain the influence of value similarity on psychosocial and instrumental support and relationship satisfaction. With respect to the individuals who mentor protégés of color, both interpersonal comfort and commitment were found to partially mediate the relationship between deep-level similarity and satisfaction. With the exception of the Ensher and Murphy (1997) study, research has not considered the responses of mentors in diversified mentoring relationships. Our study starts to fill this void by showing that mentors with protégés who share underlying value similarities feel more at ease and express this comfort by investing more in the relationship. However, given the partial mediating effects, the level of comfort and commitment may not be the only factors that explain why mentors may not be as satisfied with protégés of color who have values that differ from theirs. Future research should consider other psychological mechanisms that may help explain the effects of value dissimilarity on mentor’s feelings toward protégés of color. Also noteworthy would be an examination of whether the underlying mechanisms that influence a mentor’s satisfaction differ for White and protégés of color. Finally, a limitation of this study is that individuals in negative relationships may have been less likely to complete surveys and provide contact information for their mentors thus providing a restriction of range in these results for the matched sample. Our sample was also highly educated and therefore caution needs to be taken in generalizing these results to other populations. A challenge for this type of research is in obtaining a large enough sample of protégés and mentors of color thus, this contributes to another limitation—sample size. That said, a strength of the current study is that all of our protégés were of color which is, in and of itself, both unique and unusual. However, future research should consider replicating our results on a matched sample that is comprised of all White protégés and their mentors to consider how and, if any, of the results vary—in particular perceptions of deep-value similarity and the mediating effects of interpersonal comfort and commitment. With respect to the issue of diversity, future research also may want to consider the effects of what it is like to be different on multiple dimensions. For instance, in our sample we had male and female protégés—are the experiences of a cross-race relationship compounded if they are also cross-sex? Or is being different on one characteristic the same as being different on multiple one’s? In conclusion, this study provides the first in-depth look at the mentoring of African, Hispanic, and Native-American graduate students from both the perspective of the protégé and mentor. A number of interesting findings were uncovered and yet, much work remains to be done in this area of inquiry.